January 16, 2008
"Conservative" Huckabee Wants to Outlaw Push Polling, Censor Political Attack Ads
Mike Huckabee keeps telling people he's a conservative, and that the charge that he's not conservative are based on misunderstandings of his positions. I'm a conservative, I keep hearing over and over from Huckabee.
To quote Inigo Montoya, I do not think that word means what you think it means.
While driving in to work this morning I caught an NPR interview with Mike Huckabee on Morning Edition. You can listen to the interview here.
During the opening minute of the interview with Huckabee I liked what I heard. Huckabee sounded conservative, and claimed he was. He wants to lower taxes and cut regulatory red tape, he claimed. Contrary to popular discussion, he claimed he was attracting the same voters that made up the Reagan Coalition, not trying to break the Coalition apart.
Maybe, I thought, we've been unfair to Huckabee.
Then the interview turned to South Carolina and the news that a pro-Huckabee group is using push-polling. Here's a partial transcript:
I personally wish that all of this was outlawed. I think that every candidates should speak for themselves, and that every thing that involves the candidate's name or another candidate's name should be authorized and approved by that candidate, otherwise it shouldn't be spoken....Wait, so not only does Huckabee want to outlaw push-polling, he also wants to require that "every thing that involves another candidates name should be authorized and approved by that candidate"?
The point is that candidates can't force these special interest 527 groups to stop. I wish we could.
So, if I want to run an ad calling you a liberal, Mr. Huckabee, I'd have to get your approval? Isn't that the very essence of censorship?
As I tell my students, the First Amendment was not passed because the Founding Fathers were particularly concerned about your right to download porn at incredible speeds. The First Amendment was passed to protect political speech. Criticizing candidates is the fundamental reason why we have a First Amendment in the first place, and a democracy cannot function without it.
Huckabee isn't a conservative, he's a nightmare.